6 items from 2017
When you hear the name Dario Argento you know what to expect. In many ways, he is the gateway director to Italian horror, and with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage we see his debut into directing. While not his best work, it set many precedents for the Argento style…
Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante), an American writer finds himself witnessing a murder while on a trip to Italy. Unable to help the victim of the attack, luckily, the victim manages to survive. In the following days though Sam finds himself stalked by the killer, who he in parallel becomes obsessed with.
While I do like The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, I do find that Deep Red is his superior film which follows a similar narrative. What we have with Plumage though is an Argento film which has differences from certain traits the director has. One thing that doesn’t change of course is the fact that this is a Giallo. The mystery killer in the dark coat, the black gloves and the obsession with killing with knives is all in place. While the ending may not be what is expected, Argento is a director and writer who often gives a successful twist. In The Bird with the Crystal Plumage he gives one of his most memorable, and that is created through the museum scene.
In putting Sam in a boxed off glass room of the art gallery entrance, unable to get out to get help and unable to get into the museum itself he is left helpless, forced into being a voyeur to the murder. It is in this situation that the clues are put into place for what is a memorable ending. It is also interesting that the revelation is much similar to Deep Red in that it is interpretation and the memory of the crime scene that leads to the reveal of the killer.
A big difference to Argento’s later work is that the music for The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is done by Ennio Morricone. While I am a fan of Goblin who you usually think of when it comes to Argento, Morricone’s music is still very good, and fans of Quentin Tarantino will recognise the main theme. In fact, they’ll also see that Tarantino was paying homage to the opening of this movie in Death Proof.
Looking past the film itself and looking at the special features included with the Arrow Video release, there is an impressive list of interviews, as well as looks at the Giallo in relation to Argento’s work. The interviews with Argento himself are the highlight, but the interview with actor Gildo Di Marco (Garullo the pimp) is a very nice addition. He may have only had a bit-part in the film, but his performance was memorable enough to stick in people’s minds.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a solid release, especially for lovers of Dario Argento’s work. Not only his directorial debut, it set the scene for many of his future hits and featured one of the most memorable scenes with the art gallery scene. Deep Red may be better, but this is a necessary inclusion into any horror fans collections.
Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek »
- Paul Metcalf
As the summer continues to roll on, that means we have another great week of horror and sci-fi home entertainment releases to look forward to. The folks at Scream Factory are keeping themselves plenty busy this Tuesday, as they’re resurrecting both The Lawnmower Man and Island of Terror on Blu-ray, as well as their high-def The Paul Naschy Collection, and Arrow Video has put together an incredible two-disc limited Blu-ray set of Dario Argento’s directorial debut, The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, that any fan of the Master of Horror will want to add to their collections. And, if you missed it in theaters, the horror/sci-fi thriller Life will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD formats, too.
- Heather Wixson
This time they may have gotten it right! If a knife or a straight razor won’t do, how about killing a victim with 500-pound metal artwork studded with spikes? Dario Argento distilled a new kind of slick, visually fetishistic horror who-dunnit thriller subgenre with this shocker, aided by the dreamy cinematography of Vittorio Storaro.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
Blu-ray + DVD
Arrow Video USA
1971 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 96 min. / Street Date June 20, 2017 / L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo / Available from Arrow Video/ 49.95
Starring: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno, Eva Renzi, Umberto Raho, Raf Valenti, Giuseppe Castellano, Mario Adorf, Pino Patti, Gildo Di Marco, Rosita Torosh, Omar Bonaro, Fulvio Mingozzi, Werner Peters, Karen Valenti, Carla Mancini, Reggie Nalder.
Cinematography: Vittorio Storaro
Film Editor: Franco Fraticelli
Original Music: Ennio Morricone
Directed by Dario Argento »
- Glenn Erickson
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, 1970.
Directed by Dario Argento.
A man witnesses an attempted murder and becomes the would-be killer’s next victim.
Having recently delved into Dario Argento’s back catalogue with the excellent Phenomena Blu-ray package recently, Arrow Video are at it again by re-releasing the Italian maestro’s debut directorial feature The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and, let’s be honest, there’s no real need to try and sell this to you as dyed-in-the-wool Argento fans would have pre-ordered it once it was announced as who wouldn’t want to own a dual-format 4K restoration of one of the milestone giallo movies from a legendary director, all presented in a fantastic box set with a poster, lobby cards and a 60-page booklet with exclusive writings on the film? »
- Amie Cranswick
“I can hear it now: ‘Go to Italy. It’s a peaceful country, nothing much ever happens there’.”
In 1970, young first-time director Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria) made his indelible mark on Italian cinema with The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, a film which redefined the ‘giallo’ genre of murder-mystery thrillers and catapulted him to international stardom.
Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante, We Own the Night), an American writer living in Rome, inadvertently witnesses a brutal attack on a woman (Eva Renzi, Funeral in Berlin) in a modern art gallery. Powerless to help, he grows increasingly obsessed with the incident. Convinced that something he saw that night holds the key to identifying the maniac terrorizing Rome, he launches his own investigation parallel to that of the police, heedless »
- Tom Stockman
Arrow Video is already looking to make this a summer to remember for fans of Italian horror, as they recently revealed that their June Blu-ray / DVD releases will include Ovidio Assonitis' Madhouse (1981) and Dario Argento's first feature film, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage.
Fuses slasher elements with the over-the-top excess of ‘80s Italian terror.
Pre-order your copy in the UK: http://bit.ly/2nN0nOK
North American pre-orders links should be live soon!
Release Dates: 12/13 June 2017
Many People Visit … No One Ever Leaves.
Helmed by legendary producer/director Ovidio Assonitis, the man behind such cult favourites as The Visitor and Piranha II: The Spawning, Madhouse is a crimson-soaked tale of sibling rivalry taken to a terrifying and bloody extreme.
Julia has spent her entire adult life trying to forget the torment she suffered at »
- Derek Anderson
6 items from 2017
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